10 years ago Ryan started a business with one goal in mind, helping his community. Two years later, Chris joined Berry Digital Solutions as a co-owner and the rest, as they say, is history. After a decade in business we thought it was time to sit down and take a look at where we started, what we've learned and where we are headed!
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago when you started?
Ryan: My biggest advice would be to trust my decision making. I wish I was as confident then in running a business as I am now. I stressed too much over little decisions.
Chris: Bobby McFerrin says it best, “Don’t worry. Be happy.”
Share 3 pieces of business advice you plan continue using the next 10 years
Ryan: Trust my team, stick to a budget, and surround myself with people that will help me grow .
Chris: Partner with good people. always stay ready to adapt, and find the silver lining.
What motivates you?
Ryan: I think what motivates me is creating something that I know is better.
Chris: Providing for my family and helping them reach their goals is my #1 motivator now.
What is your definition of success?
Ryan: Success is when you hit your pillow at night you know you've done everything in your power to have brought value to those you came into contact with that day.
Chris: Ending everyday feeling like you made a positive difference in your little corner of the world.
What does the next 10 years at BDS look like?
Ryan: I have no idea, that's why it's so fun
Chris: If I would’ve answered this question 10 years ago, it would’ve been laughable how far off I was. I don’t want to even attempt what changes are coming in technology and the digital world, but I do know that BDS will remain at the forefront of those changes. We will adapt, and we will continue to help our local small businesses navigate an increasingly complex digital world.
How has digital marketing changed throughout the past decade and what do should people expect in the future?
Ryan: Digital marketing has simplified in the sense of simpler websites and social media and other platforms giving you access to an audience. But that simplicity has made connecting with your audience much more complex, customers know when they are being sold to so a genuine connection requires more skill. The addition of new platforms and ways of communicating is already beginning to take shape.
Chris: I can remember when we first started, the idea of a mobile-friendly website was brand new. Some of our new clients came to us in need of a mobile-friendly website, and some had still never even heard the term “mobile-friendly.” Now, locally, we see 90% or more of traffic to our websites coming from mobile devices. That number would’ve been unfathomable a decade ago. Everything is trending towards faster, sleeker, instantaneous information. Artificial intelligence is the next wave we’re starting to navigate. We’re figuring out now how can we best utilize the leaps forward in A.I. to help our clients in an ever-changing digital world.
What's a new skill you've learned in the past year?
Ryan: Basically instead of a to-do list I schedule time on my calendar for task. A time blocking scheduled approach.
Chris: Making A.I. work for us and our clients in the graphic design world.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
Ryan: Creating a work environment for not only myself but my team to have the flexibility to enjoy life.
Chris: West Liberty. I think back to the way West Liberty communicated and promoted itself 10 years ago. It’s night and day compared to now. And you can really see it in the growth of the events, expansions of businesses and positive vibes, even in the face of terrible community tragedies. To be able to be a part of that positive change in your hometown is special. We may not be able to solve all of the world’s problems, but we’re going to do everything in our power to leave our little corner nicer than how we found it.
What's one thing about our business that people would be surprised to find out?
Ryan: I think people would be surprised to learn what kind of impact we have had on our local community. It would hard to imagine what Urbana, Ohio would look like, digitally, without Berry Digital.
Chris: We love trading our services for your services. We have some local clients where money never exchanges hands. We want to help neighboring businesses as much as possible, so reach out today if you have an idea for swapping services!
What do you think makes our team culture so unique?
Ryan: We truly trust each other and hold each other accountable in the right ways. We genuinely position people to be allowed to do what they do best.
Chris: This is a tough one, because every business thinks their team culture is unique or innovating or top-notch. That’s the great lie they all tell to convince people to come work for them. I guess what sets us apart is that every member of our team has worked for other organizations that claimed to have a “unique team culture” or a “business that’s like a family.” We all lived and learned hard lessons in those other organizations. We found each other, shared our stories and experiences, and formed our own team. Lines of communication are always open, and everyone speaks their mind, and we stay focused on finding solutions for our clients and happiness for our team. If it sounds too simple, that’s because it is.
Can you tell us the Top 3 on your Business Bucket List?
Ryan: Create businesses within my other passions: travel, entertainment & disrupting a stale industry .
Chris: We want to help more small towns connect with its residents and experience the growth West Liberty has over the last decade. There are too many small town hidden destinations in this area that are going unheard and unseen in a growing digital world.
We want to help many of our long-time customers take the next step in digital advertising. Maybe you weren’t ready 5 or 10 years ago or maybe you didn’t know we do more than just websites, but now is a great time to reach out and give it a shot. Divert some of that old newspaper, billboard or radio ad money to digital advertising and see the difference targeted audiences can make.
And lastly, we just want to keep improving our communities. We want to attract outside dollars, raise the quality of life and put smiles on the faces of everyone we come in contact with because this is where we grew up. We’re invested in this little corner of the world, and even if we can’t make global impacts, we’ll do everything in our power to improve our little corner of the world every day.
As you can see the past 10 years of business has brought us valuable lessons, continued growth, and a vision to continue making our communities thrive in a digital world. We are grateful for our clients, partners, and community for being a part of our journey! Cheers to the next 10 years!